Wednesday 22 January, 2020

WATCH: JET keeping up pressure on mining interests with new video

Amirah, a student environmental leader, is featured in the JET campaign.

Amirah, a student environmental leader, is featured in the JET campaign.

Unsatisfied with the response to its advocacy for the bauxite mining close to the boundaries of the protected Cockpit Country to cease, the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) has released a new public service announcement under the Save Cockpit Country campaign.

The video is the third and final installment in the Save Cockpit Country PSA series and features testimonials from residents of Gibraltar, St Ann, a Cockpit Country community where bauxite mining is actively taking place. 

“Bauxite mining is already happening in Cockpit Country communities in St Ann which have been left out of the protected area and is expanding west into Cockpit Country communities which are closer to the boundary in Trelawny, It is so important for Jamaicans to understand the impact bauxite mining has on residents and what this means for Cockpit Country’s protection,” said Lauren Creary, JET Project Coordinator. 

In November 2017, Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced the designated Cockpit Country Protected Area (CCPA) boundary, but JET is contending that new mining leases have been granted by the Jamaican government which will allow bauxite companies to mine right up to the edge of the CCPA boundary.

The trust is also concerned that the Cockpit Country Protected Area has not yet been protected under Jamaican law or closed to mining by the government.

“June 5 is World Environment Day, so the release of this episode is timely, as across the world we consider the importance of our natural environmental and the impacts humans are having on the planet. Cockpit Country supports our largest remaining natural forest, rural farming communities, and is vital for our water supply - it must be protected for future generations,” Creary said.

Through its ‘Advancing the Protection of Jamaica’s Cockpit Country’ project, JET and other civil society groups including Cockpit Country community leaders are advocating for an expedited ground-truthing of the CCPA boundary, establishment of buffer zones which are also closed to mining around the protected area, and the involvement of civil society and local communities in management planning for the CCPA.

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